The New York Islanders are past the halfway point on their marathon road trip that starts their season. While their record is not eye-popping, so far so good for the blue and orange.
The New York Islanders know you can’t win the Stanley Cup in October but you can put yourself behind a major eight ball. So far the Isles are keeping their heads above water as they make the turn on the second half of this crazy road trip.
Not Sexy But Solid
A record of 3-2-2 does sound overly sexy. Guess what, it isn’t. However, when your first seven games are on the road, you will take it. The Isles have been from the southeast to the mid-west then the southwest back to the bible belt (this sounds like a Johnny Cash song).
Everyone knew this 13-game road trip was not going to be an easy challenge for the Islanders, from the Isles organization to the fanbase throughout the NHL.
While the Isles haven’t come close to playing their best, they have been a bit better with each and every game and find themselves above NHL 500 as they passed the halfway turn on this trip.
Second Half Coming Up
The Isles need to continue to get better with each and every game. Ironically one can make a strong argument that their best game of the year so far was Saturday’s loss in Nashville which ended with the skills competition.
The Isles now get another block of days to rest and recover and work on their game in practice. Let’s remember since the NHL shut down back in March 2020 due to Covid, air travel has been at a minimum for clubs. The Isles have already logged a bunch of bonus miles to their frequent flyer account so this extra rest is a big positive.
The remaining six games of the trip see the Isles go north of the border (Montreal & Winnipeg) followed by a two-game swing called the Zach Parise Reunion Tour (Minnesota & Jersey). The Isles then get another block of time off before finishing the trip in Florida against the Lightning and the Panthers.
Of the remaining 12 points in play on this gauntlet of a road trip if the Isles can gain at least seven points one would have to sign up for that. Eight points (4-2 record) would be terrific. But if the Isles can duplicate what they did on their first six games by going 3-2-1 then would have finished the trip with a 6-4-3 record which adds up to 15 points. Take the money and run.
The Isles would then head home with a ton of home games the rest of the way. The Isles would have already played nearly a third of their road games.
Give you one last nugget that bodes well for the Islander’s fortunes as this season moves forward and that is the league better watch out for Oliver Wahlstrom. He looks really good.
Clearly, every Islander fan would like another game or two in the win column. But don’t look past how difficult this trip is to start the season.